Home Featured How France’s National Rally plans to take the European Parliament hostage – POLITICO
How France’s National Rally plans to take the European Parliament hostage – POLITICO

How France’s National Rally plans to take the European Parliament hostage – POLITICO

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Putin troubles

But there’s another reason why the National Rally aims to forge ad hoc alliances instead of forming a ‘supergroup’ with the conservative ECR.

Its name? Vladimir Putin. 

The French party’s proximity to the Russian president is a long-standing bone of contention with the Polish-led ECR, which is hostile to Russia and favors strong ties with the United States.

The positions of Matteo Salvini, who opposes sanctions against Russia and whose far-right League party is a member of ID, are another obstacle standing in the way of a broader ECR-ID alliance.

A strategy of seeking ad hoc alliances would also allow the National Rally, founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, to preserve some ties with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), from whom Marine Le Pen has recently sought to distance herself. Even if AfD were to leave ID, they could still unite forces with the National Rally on specific pieces of legislation.

In parallel, the National Rally is fine-tuning its program for the European election in June, several senior party officials said. At the moment, the only theme publicly disclosed is the party’s historic idea of a “Europe of nations,” in which the EU would be limited to sporadic cooperation between some member countries.

Bardella is set to unveil the rest of the program during his first campaign rally in Marseille, in southern France, on March 3.

Sarah Paillou reported from Paris, Nicolas Camut from Brussels.

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